Waverley returns to Rothesay this weekend

The paddle steamer Waverley in Rothesay Bay.
The paddle steamer Waverley in Rothesay Bay.

The paddle steamer Waverley’s main Clyde summer cruising season starts with a visit to Rothesay this weekend.

After a ‘teaser’ weekend of sailings on the Firth at the end of last month, the famous ship’s summer programme starts with her traditional Saturday ‘doon the watter’ cruise from Glasgow to Tighnabruaich - with a call at Rothesay at 2.05pm - this Saturday, June 20.

This year marks a special anniversary for Waverley - the 40th year that the ship has sailed in preservation.

Sold by Caledonian MacBrayne for £1 in 1973, Waverley has been operated by a charity since 1975, and preserved as a heritage asset for the benefit of the communities around the UK.

Incredibly, she has had a longer career in preservation than she had as a commercial enterprise! Every passenger who comes on board helps Waverley keep sailing for another year.

Andy O’Brian, Waverley’s captain, said: “There is no better way to spend the day than relaxing on deck and watching the spectacular scenery of Scotland’s west coast slip by.

“As well as taking passengers on great days out from Rothesay we bring many passengers to the island each year. There is a trip for everyone – young and old – to enjoy and we look forward to welcoming you onboard this year.”

The Waverley’s programme of summer cruises from Rothesay is as follows:

Every Saturday from June 20 to August 29 - to Tighnabruaich via the Kyles (no call at Tighnabruaich on July 18, when there will be a ‘mystery cruise’ instead);

Every Wednesday from June 24 to August 26 - to Tighnabruaich and Tarbert and a cruise on Loch Fyne;

Every Thursday from July 2 to August 27 - to Largs, Millport (Keppel) and Brodick and a cruise along the south-east coast of Arran to Holy Isle;

Sunday, July 5 - to Brodick and a cruise along the Arran coast;

Sunday, August 2 and Sunday, August 23 - to Lochranza via the Kyles of Bute, and a cruise to Skipness Castle;

Sunday, August 16 - to Tighnabruaich and Tarbert and a cruise on Loch Fyne.

See www.waverleyexcursions.co.uk for more details on the paddler’s Clyde summer cruises.